Global Shea Alliance (GSA)

Posted in Competitiveness, Global, Sharing best practices/standards, Single crop.


General Information

Crop: Shea

Geographic scope: Global

Active Countries: The GSA has members from over 31 countries but is currently implementing projects in 7 West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo)

Initiated in 2011

The GSA is a non-profit industry association with 434 members from 31 countries including women’s groups, brands and retailers, suppliers, and NGOs. Through public-private partnerships, the GSA promotes industry sustainability, quality practices and standards, and demand for shea in food and cosmetics.

Members: The GSA has 434 members from 31 countries that consist of Private sector (collectors, suppliers, brands, retailers and supporters; Donors (Foundations, Development Agencies; Civil Society (NGOs)), Farmers’ Organisations (Collectors, Handcrafted Butter Producers); Others (Consultants, Research Centers)



Low income for rural women shea collectors as well as environmental challenges.

The platform, allows for collaboration between businesses, multinationals, NGOs, and women to work together for a sustainable shea industry.


Intentions and aspiration

To enable women empowerment, decent working conditions, improved livelihoods, protection of ecosystems.

The mission is to design and deliver strategies that put forward a competitive and sustainable Shea industry globally, coupled with an improvement of livelihoods of African women. The membership principles consist of promotion of the industry, women’s empowerment, improved quality, sustainability, and collaboration..

In 2014, the Global Shea Alliance launched a sustainability program that identifies industry-wide challenges and implements solutions via stakeholder guidelines and collaborative projects.

The GSA sustainability guidelines were developed in consultation with women’s groups, non-profits, U.S. and European food and cosmetic brands, and international oils and fats suppliers. The guidelines promote women’s empowerment, decent working conditions, development of local communities, and the protection of ecosystems by outlining best business practices for all stakeholders.


Arrangements and capacitities

 The platform is governed by an Executive Committee, which elected every two years by the General Assembly. The secretariat manages the day-to-day activities of the platform and reports to the Executive Committee.


Activities and outputs

The platform organizes shea promotion events through three conferences in Europe, West Africa and North America as well as policy advocacy. The GSA help form public private partnerships to empower women and improve the industry’s sustainability. The GSA publishes many resources on its initiatives, events on its website, as well as industry presentations.


Monitoring and evaluation

The Sustainability Working Group overlooks consideration of project results, challenges and recommendations for improvement. Moreover, the GSA publishes a sustainability report each year that contains M&E information, as well as project specific information on the data collected annually.


Posted in Competitiveness, Global, Sharing best practices/standards, Single crop.